Headquarters, Trans Mississippi
March 21, 2002
General Communiqué No. 1
The general is pleased to announce that brigade staff assignments have been
discussed and accepted by all of the parties involved. The following is a listing of brigade staff assignments, effective immediately and until further notice.
Chief of Staff and AAG - Mike Bolley, rank of Lieutenant Colonel
AIG - Bennett Talley, rank of Major
ACG - Mark White, rank of Major (specialty, event coordination)
Topographical Engineers - Sam Kuder, rank of Major
Chief of Couriers - Todd Connor, rank of Major
Aide-de-camp - Jeff Ashmore, rank of 2nd Lieutenant
Color Bearer - T. L. VanZandte, rank of Sergeant
As always, the general and his staff are available to be of service to the battalions and their commanders.
Also, the general is pleased to announce that the brigade newsletter will hereafter be published quarterly and displayed on the brigade website, available for downloading or printing. Participants and interested parties are encouraged to visit the web site often and to take note of the items and news published thereupon.
The newsletter will be oriented to news and events from around the brigade. It is anticipated that each battalion commander (or his designee) will participate by providing a brief article for each issue. These articles may be simple announcements of plans for future activities, announcements of changes in personnel, discussions of topics relevant to reenacting, etc. They need not be any longer than two or three paragraphs, but should be no shorter.
Men of the Trans Mississippi Brigade are encouraged to submit news items for the newsletter at any time. The general and his staff reserve the right to edit or to decline publication of any items that may be deemed inappropriate or not of suitable impact and form.
All correspondence should be addressed to General Beck and to Lt. Col. Bolley via e-mail or postal service. At a later date, a complete listing of staff addresses and phone numbers will be circulated for those who may need them.
Gentlemen, as we begin a new season, let us re-double our efforts and our commitment to building the Trans Mississippi Brigade and maintaining its reputation as one of the premier reenacting efforts in the entire country. There truly is no better!
Brigadier General J. Beck, Commanding
Trans Mississippi Brigade
DATE: 17 February 2002
FROM: Ted Prater, Colonel
First Missouri Battalion
TO: Company Commanders/Unit Contact
First Missouri Battalion
REF: Battalion Muster, 13-14 April 2002
Civil War Ranch Arena, Carthage, MO
An "Operation Order" relevant to the Muster will be forthcoming from Lt. Adjutant Summers as soon as I provide him with details necessary to complete that document. In the meantime, I want to share the following housekeeping items so you may be getting prepared.
· This is to be a Battalion Muster and intended for all troops. I have noted in some newsletter and other correspondence that there is a misconception that this is an "Officers/NCO" school. That is incorrect. We need everyone, privates, NCOs, and officers, there for training.
· Confederate Army uniforms, weapons, accouterments, TENTS, and ammunition will be needed for this muster. I would like for everyone to do his best MILITARY impression of CS Army troops. Exception as always will be your new troops or prospective recruits. You may dress those exceptions as best you can in clothing or they will be welcome in modern clothes at your discretion. We will set a tent camp complete with streets, kitchen fires, a battalion color line, and so forth and we will conduct a military camp the entire weekend.
· This is to be a camp of instruction for the military troops only. There will be no provisions made for civilian camping at the site. Civilians are certainly welcome to visit at anytime and may do so in modern or period attire.
· I will provide two port-a-jons for the muster at no cost to you or the troops. At this time I plan to have firewood on site and will ask for monetary assistance from the companies to offset that cost. If you will let me know how many bales of bedding straw your unit will require, I will try to have that ready for you at the site also, at whatever it costs me. I expect the cost of firewood to be $20-25 per rick and straw in the neighborhood of $2.25-3.25 per bale.
· I generally plan to conduct the weekend as a garrison training camp and in the following manner. Much of the instruction will come from you and your own company staffs and will be conducted on the company level. Prior to the event, I will give you a guideline of instruction that I would like to see you follow. The battalion staff and I will be available to assist you during those company instruction periods. At various time throughout the weekend the battalion will be assembled and battalion evolutions conducted. Military conduct, protocol, and formality will be the order of the day.
Captains, I need to start getting some idea of attendance. It does not have to be exact at this early date but even now some information will be helpful. Give me your best guess for now and we will try to nail down firmer numbers as we get closer. It is very important to me that each and every one of you captains attend whether you have a company strength unit on the field or not. Even if you attend alone, or can only attend part of the weekend, I need you.
Headquarters, Trans Mississippi
March 21, 2002
Subject: Campaign 1864 in 2004 Price's
A Darwinian Imperative Rudyard Kipling wrote, "...the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the
strength of the wolf is the pack." How truly these words apply to our hobby today. Alone we are many voices, and united we can be one voice directing the destiny of this hobby. The whole can be greater than the sum its parts, but those parts gain strength from the whole. As our forefathers banded together for the strength that comes from unity, so should we become a band of brothers, united in the cause of preserving this nation's heritage for the generations that follow. We should never lose sight of that objective. The strength of our endeavors can open the door to the future with the key from the past. That key is the unity we display in our endeavors. We must stand united, no matter how hard the winds of adversity and political correctness may tear at our common fabric. Let us embrace the thread of unity that binds us together in our common cause. Our task is to make
ourselves architects of the future. Any arena of endeavor produces a Darwinian imperative - evolve or face defeat and extinction. Victory will belong to those who can innovate. Civil War leaders, schooled in the tactics of Napoleon, found those tactics to be sorely inadequate in the face of new technology.
Robert E. Lee was brilliantly audacious and combative, but surprisingly
closed-minded when circumstances changed. Union Major General Philip Sheridan, on the other hand, became Ulysses S. Grant's implement of change in the war's final months, rewriting tactics and eventually defeating Lee's army. We as today's leaders confront change at a much faster pace than our Civil War counterparts. This makes it necessary for us to be even more agile in our responses. Continuing to fight with one another or organize the next battles and events in the same way as we did the last one is an invitation to defeat. Our leadership must be as adaptable now as it would be in any war. Together, as leaders, we should not fail to embrace innovation. If we do, then we will lose the battle as surely as those who adapt will replace us. Together we must understand that the result of a debate or discussion should be progress, not victory. Our decisions must benefit the whole reenacting community, which is greater than just the few of us individuals. With those thoughts in mind, I want to propose an innovative series of events for the 2004 season. We can produce four major regional events which I like to refer to as "Campaign 1864 in 2004." These events will take
place in four states of the Trans-Mississippi -- Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
Campaign 1864 in 2004 - Price's Raid "The Invasion of Missouri" Hosted by The Trans-Mississippi Brigade CSA / Frontier Brigade USA In 1864, with the defeat of the Red River Campaign, the South had a real offensive opportunity in the Trans-Mississippi. Not only was the pressure off Kirby Smith's forces, but the Union troops were demoralized and disorganized as well. Banks' men had barely escaped back to the Mississippi, and Steele's men in Little Rock needed food, equipment, and time to recover. The time was ripe for a counter-stroke, and Kirby Smith intended to deliver it.
The obvious place to begin was Missouri, and Smith issued preparatory orders. Sterling Price, commanding in Arkansas, was to concentrate his troops and speed up their training. He was also to gather as much intelligence as possible from the irregulars (guerrillas or bandits, depending on which side you supported) in the Union rear. It took two months (mid-May to mid-July) and Price was ready. His men were eager and spies' reports suggested that many Missourians were just waiting for a Confederate army to arrive so they could join it. What was more, Grant's concentration of troops further east had stripped the Missouri garrisons, and the Union defenders were in disarray. It was truly the time to strike. Thus began what was to be known as "Price's 1864 Raid." This daring and last-ditch effort to secure Missouri for the Confederacy would lead Price across Missouri, into Kansas, through the Nations (Oklahoma) and back into Arkansas. The Trans-Mississippi Brigade, in conjunction with the Frontier Brigade, has secured sites, money and area support for four events in the reenacting of "Price's Raid."
Rogers, Arkansas -- Last action of Price's
Raid - Early Spring
Lexington, Missouri -- 1864 Prelude to
the Battle of Westport - Early Summer
Pleasanton, Kansas - The Battle of Mine
Creek - October 23 - 24 - 04
Vintia, Oklahoma -- Rear guard action from Newtonia - September 25-26-04
The true innovation with the "64 in '04 Campaign - Price's Raid," will be
in the practical effect of uniting reenactors from Missouri, Kansas,
Oklahoma and Arkansas to embrace that thread of unity, which binds us
together in a common cause. The innovation will be that each states'
community can unite and give maximum support to all of these events - even those outside of their own states. Truly it is our opportunity to become one strong voice instead of many smaller ones in attempting to preserve our Civil War Heritage. As our forefathers banded together for the strength that comes from unity, so we can become a united band of brothers and embrace the future.
Together we can embrace the changes that the future brings. Together if we must continue to evaluate, improve and adjust. In these continual actions are the seeds of success. Always remember, "...the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack."
Brigade General John Beck - Trans-Mississippi Brigade CSA
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